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Organic Chemistry

Second Edition

Jonathan Clayden, Nick Greeves, and Stuart Warren

March 2012

ISBN: 9780199270293

1,264 pages

In Stock

Price: £51.99

The course companion of choice for a generation of chemistry students.



Inspiring and motivating students from the moment it published, Organic Chemistry has established itself in just one edition as the students' choice of organic chemistry text. Its explanatory, mechanistic, evidence-based approach makes it perfect for fostering a true understanding of the subject.

  • The course companion of choice for a generation of chemistry students.
  • Emphasis is on understanding rather than learning facts: organic chemistry emerges as a coherent whole, with numerous logical connections and consequences, and with an underlying structure and language.
  • Emphasis on mechanism, orbitals, and stereochemistry means that the student emerges with solid understanding of important factors common to all reactions, allowing interpretation/prediction of reactions not previously met.
  • Direct, personal, student-friendly writing style draws in and engages the reader, motivating them to learn more.
  • Extensive online support takes learning beyond the printed book, enhancing understanding still further.

New to this edition

  • All chapters have been reviewed and refined to provide a more student-friendly, more logical, and more coherent presentation of the subject as a whole.
  • Chapters are extensively cross-linked to a bank of over 500 interactive online resources, which help readers to visualise molecular structure, and gain a deeper and richer understanding of reaction mechanisms.
  • Early chapters have been recast to give a more carefully-graded learning curve, to avoid the student being confronted by too much, too soon.
  • Coverage of topics with particular practical relevance that have developed in the last ten years has been enhanced, including the presentation of metathesis, modern methods of asymmetric synthesis (including organic catalysis), 'click chemistry', and palladium-catalysed couplings.
  • A re-ordering of topics has brought new coherence to the coverage of subjects such as conjugate addition, which had previously been dispersed through the book, and has brought certain key topics, such as heterocyclic chemistry, earlier.
  • A new chapter on regioselectivity has been introduced.
  • Coverage of certain topics, including enolate chemistry, has been refined to give more focus to the book as a whole and tailor it more closely to the needs of undergraduates.
  • Suggestions for further reading have been added to most chapters to help students take the next step in their learning.

About the Author(s)

Jonathan Clayden, Professor of Organic Chemistry, University of Manchester, Nick Greeves, Senior Lecturer, University of Liverpool, and Stuart Warren, Formerly Reader in Organic Chemistry, University of Cambridge and Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge

Jonathan Clayden is a Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Manchester, where he and his research group work on the construction of molecules with defined shapes - in particular those where control of conformation and limitation of flexibility is important. Jonathan was awarded a BA (Natural Sciences) from Churchill College, Cambridge before completing his PhD with Stuart Warren, also at the University of Cambridge. He has been at the University of Manchester since 1994.

Nick Greeves is the Director of Teaching and Learning in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Liverpool. Nick is a Cambridge graduate, obtaining his PhD there in 1986 for work on the stereoselective Horner-Wittig reaction with Stuart Warren. He then held a Harkness Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at Stanford University, California, and a Research Fellowship at Cambridge University before joining Liverpool in 1989 where he is currently a Senior Lecturer.

Stuart Warren is a former lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, Stuart completed his PhD at Cambridge with Malcolm Clark before carrying out post-doctoral research at Harvard University. He became a teaching fellow at Churchill College in 1971, and remained a lecturer and researcher at Cambridge until his retirement in 2006.

Table of Contents

    1: What is organic chemistry?
    2: Organic structures
    3: Determining organic structures
    4: Structure of molecules
    5: Organic reactions
    6: Nucleophilic addition to the carbonyl group
    7: Delocalization and conjugation
    8: Acidity, basicity, and pKa
    9: Using organometallic reagents to make C-C bonds
    10: Nucleophilic substitution at the carbonyl group
    11: Nucleophilic substitution at C=O with loss of carbonyl oxygen
    12: Equilibria, rates and mechanisms
    13: 1H NMR: Proton nuclear magnetic resonance
    14: Stereochemistry
    15: Nucleophilic substitution at saturated carbon
    16: Conformational analysis
    17: Elimination reactions
    18: Review of spectroscopic methods
    19: Electrophilic addition to alkenes
    20: Formation and reactions of enols and enolates
    21: Electrophilic aromatic substitution
    22: Conjugate addition and nucleophilic aromatic substitution
    23: Chemoselectivity and protecting groups
    24: Regioselectivity
    25: Alkylation of enolates
    26: Reactions of enolates with carbonyl compounds: the aldol and Claisen reactions
    27: Sulfur, silicon and phosphorus in organic chemistry
    28: Retrosynthetic analysis
    29: Aromatic heterocycles 1: structures and reactions
    30: Aromatic heterocycles 2: synthesis
    31: Saturated heterocycles and stereoelectronics
    32: Stereoselectivity in cyclic molecules
    33: Diastereoselectivity
    34: Pericyclic reactions 1: cycloadditions
    35: Pericyclic reactions 2: sigmatropic and electrocyclic reactions
    36: Participation, rearrangement and fragmentation
    37: Radical reactions
    38: Synthesis and reactions of carbenes
    39: Determining reaction mechanisms
    40: Organometallic chemistry
    41: Asymmetric synthesis
    42: Organic chemistry of life
    43: Organic chemistry today


"It is a credit to the authors that a textbook that I have adored for so many years has undergone such a substantial overhaul and yet still retains the features that made it quite so attractive to students in the first place. This is a book that will continue to inspire students of organic chemistry for many years to come. Even if you already have the first edition, I am happy to recommend that you invest in this new version you will not be disappointed." - John Hayward, in Chemistry World, December 2012

"Review from previous edition This is a book we have all been waiting for! It is based on sound mechanistic reasoning and contains thousands of useful examples for teaching. Its style is approachable and covers both fundamental and more advanced material." - Adam Nelson, Lecturer, University of Leeds

"Review from previous edition Represents a milestone in the field of organic chemistry textbooks... This is the first organic textbook that could be used in some shape or form on almost every organic chemistry course in any UK undergraduate programme... I soon expect to be hearing "You can look it up in Clayden" ringing from lectures and tutorials, and for many years to come." - Andrew Boa in The Times Higher Education, 2001

Additional Resources

Online Resource Centre

For students:
A range of problems to accompany each chapter

For registered adopters of the text:
Figures from the book in electronic format

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